Monday, August 24, 2009

No charges against 'Sinhala Tigers'

Police terrorist investigators have failed to find any evidence to charge a group accused of helping Tamil Tigers, their lawyer said.

Manjula Pathiraja, Attorney at Law, told BBC Sandeshaya that the authorities will have to release the whole group soon.

He was commenting on the latest release by the courts of two Sinhala nationals accused of supporting the LTTE.

"These people were detained for over one and half years, without charges, under detention orders," Mr. Pathiraja said.

A group of journalists and trade union activists were abducted and later found in the custody of police Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) in February 2007.


They were arrested on suspicion of conspiring with the LTTE to overthrow the democratically elected government.

The suspects were accused of forming an organisation called Revolutionary Liberation Army and having close links with the LTTE.

The suspects were never charged in a court of law.

Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe told media days after the arrest that three journalists have confessed to planning and carrying out attacks on behalf of the rebels.

The military found explosives hidden by the suspects after the arrest, he added.

journalists were shown footages of suspects 'confessing' to have worked with the Tamil Tigers to stage attaks in the south of the country.

Media watchdogs, RSF and FMM, protested authorities using alleged confessions taken while in custody.

After considering fundamental rights (FR) petitions, the Supreme Court earlier this year released 11 of them without charge.

Sarath Fernando, one of those recently released by the court, said that he was tortured while in custody after he refused to confess working for the LTTE.

Speaking with BBC Sandeshaya from an unidentified location outside Sri Lanka, he said he filed a formal complaint with the magistrate regarding the torture.


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